Englewood, NJ – A New Jersey couple living in a senior housing complex have been arrested for illegally supplementing their income.
The suspects, 75-year-old James Parham and his neighbor and assumed accomplice, 66-year-old Cheryl Chaney, have been accused of allowing others to use crack in their apartments and have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance. Chaney had an additional penalty for possessing crack cocaine.
In connection to the case, police also charged 54-year-old Selma McDuffie, a non-resident of the building, with possession of drug paraphernalia after she was found with a crack pipe. As a result, McDuffie has been suspended from her job as a police-sponsored crossing guard.
Parham’s nuisance charge stems from encouraging and permitting prostitution on the premises. Authorities state Parham admitted to running a prostitution ring out of the complex, employing some of the elderly residents along with a few younger women with addiction problems from the neighborhood as sex workers, according to NBC 4 New York News.
Reports indicate none of the alleged prostitutes were arrested. But more charges could be pending against Chaney and Parham depending on what the ongoing investigation uncovers.
Marketing prostitution and drugs can generate violence. Therefore, many of the other residents were afraid to venture freely into certain areas of the complex.
A lack of security within the building is thought to have contributed to the issue, as there is only one security camera located in the lobby, allowing residents to see who is being buzzed in. Authorities intend to review the footage as part of the investigation.
The Englewood Housing Authority manages the 152-unit property, which exclusively serves the disabled 55 and older and low-income residents who are 62 and older. Chaney had no criminal record, and Parham had a few minor arrests years before for disorderly conduct and other low-level crimes. The Englewood Housing Authority reserves the right to bar anyone with recent drug convictions or a violent criminal history from living in its buildings. But both had met the income guidelines and passed the terms of the criminal background check upon moving into the building.
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